Monday, June 25, 2012

Light Pasta Dishes for Summer

"Pasta shouldn’t be reserved for the winter months. If you’re craving the carbs but not the calories this summer, these lighter pasta dishes will hit the spot."

For the full article and recipes: 6 Light Pasta Dishes for Summer.

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Sew-Ins & Lace Fronts 101 || U-Part Wig Tutorial

The u-part wig (also known as the 3/4th wig) is a form of protective styling that allows for the look of a sew-in while being much easier to install.  The unit may be sewn in along the small "u-section" OR worn as a wig via clips.  Hair that is left out of the "u-section" is then blended with the wig for a realistic look.  Other than an easier install, easy access to one's real hair is another benefit to wearing the u-part wig over a sew-in.   The unit can be removed and re-installed easily allowing for one to care for one's real hair underneath with ease.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012


I received a few interesting emails about the Poetry Should Be Subversive article by Simon Armitage, and for those of you with a keen eye, you’ll be aware that he is heading up a week of non-competitive poetry related events at the Southbank as part of the Cultural Olympiad.  What he calls the Poetry Parnassus, or the ‘most democratic and ancient art-form.’ For those of us feeling slightly jaded by both the Jubilee celebrations and impending Olympic histrionics, it was a relief to read a comment by Armitage in this weeks Observer, in which he reiterates the role of the arts (poetry) not just as celebratory, but as giving voice to dissent.
“...when I watch the Olympics, it sickens me that people are gagged and labelled and everybody has to stand up, drape themselves in a flag and stamp to the national anthem in front of the official fizzy drink. That is not the way most people feel about their country. This is an opportunity to address some of those issues.’ 
Its almost heartening to note then, that the Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford is to close its car-park for the duration of the Olympics. A big diddums to the poor bleating shoppers, who like to drive as close as humanly possible to get their fill of burgers, posh frocks and plasma screens. Your merchandise pushers and peddlers too, will have to use public transport for once. 

You can bet, that the shopping centre is going to be full of reading, dancing, sculpture and a million other Cultural Olympiad activities that will make for happy, passive shoppers.  As “...part of the £13.5 million high quality public realm project to improve Stratford Town Centre for residents and businesses and offer a unique visitor experience,” Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales believes that work like the recently completed The Shoal will ‘...offer a unique visitor experience.’
The sculpture is made up of around 100 titanium clad, giant ‘leaves’, at between 15 and 19 meters high and is situated along the Great Eastern Road. David West, of the projects design team, Studio Egret West said:  ‘The Shoal was born of a desire to turn a negative into a positive. Instead of screening the back of house of the Stratford shopping centre, which now finds itself in the foreground, we have created a playful and dynamic edge that brings a moment of delight to those arriving in Newham. ‘ Mmm, you can judge the merits of the work for yourself by visiting e-architect. Does this 'art' inspire and revitalise communities? I'd like to know what you think.

Still, as a temple to the power of products, it’s a rip-roaring artistic and cultural legacy for the UK isn’t it? An Olympic sized gateway to the largest urban shopping centre in Europe. Makes you proud to fly the flag.

And as the Olympic Torch continues to gutter and wend its way through our rain-soaked and cobbled Northern climbs, its equally heartening to see that John Pillger has lost none of his forensic scrutiny of news that suspiciously falls below the radar.  

It’s with the Olympics in mind, and art in the public realm, that Pilger shines a torch on the decorators of the Olympic stadium facade, Dow Chemical Corporation, who are funding a £7m, 900m (0.56 miles) long by 20m (67ft) high, fabric wrap for the Olympic stadium. Not quite the Segregation Wall in length, but equally pernicious. 
I’d been aware of the connection between Dow and its purchase of Union Carbide "the company responsible for the Bhopal gas leak [in India in 1984] which killed 7,000 to 10,000 people immediately and 15,000 in the following twenty years", but what I wasn’t aware of was Dow’s long illustrious position in the development and sales of both Napalm and Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. Irrelevant to our proud games you might suggest? This short and sharp article by Pilger, persuades me otherwise. Read it by clicking on the image of one of the 4.8 million uncompensated child victims of Agent Orange below. If you are outraged, share this. 

I made a decision not to show a child's image, as it felt exploitative, so here is Black Square, 1915, by Kazimir Malevich. I urge you to simply type, Victim Agent Organge into google, or click on the Black Square.

I’ve had lots of enquiries about the Anne Basting event on the 10th July. Please note, I can’t answer all the email questions about the event just yet, but will post details on line asap. I will of course, confirm places with those who’ve expressed an interest, at least a week before the event. It will in all likelihood, take place in the early evening here at MMU on the 10th July. This will be a fantastic evening for all those interested in Dementia and the Arts and a pleasure to welcome Anne.

Group music sessions 'may boost empathy in children'
Judith Burns, Education reporter for the BBC News reports that regularly playing music in groups may improve children's ability to empathise with others. Researchers from Cambridge University compared empathy skills in children who played weekly music-based games for a year with those who did not. The musical group scored higher in end-of-year tests of how well they recognised other people's emotions. Click on the drumming babies for more.

Wellcome Trust – Peoples Awards (UK) 
Awards of up to £30,000 are available under the Wellcome Trust's Peoples Awards for projects that encourage public debate and understanding of biomedical science. Projects can be funded for up to three years and can include activities such as:
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Arts projects
  • Teaching materials or techniques to encourage wider discussions
  • Projects that utilise the collections of the Wellcome Library and the Wellcome Collection at the Science Museum. 
The next applications deadline is the 27th July 2012. Click on the Visualisation of a Protein below!

BBC Children in Need (UK)
BBC Children in Need provides grants for up to three years to organisations (including schools) working with disadvantaged young people aged 18 or under. Within the BBC Children in Need grants programme, organisations can apply for Small Grants of £10,000 or less per year for up to three years and for Main Grants of over £10,000 per year for up to three years. Funding is available to organisations that work with young people who are suffering from:
  • Illness
  • Distress
  • Abuse or neglect
  • Are disabled
  • Have behavioural or psychological difficulties
  • Are living in poverty or situations of deprivation.
The next closing date for applications is the 15th July 2012. Read more by clicking on the Rabbit or Tiger below:

(Or, Being Mentored by a Higher-Inteligence)
I’ve had some correspondence from people asking me, just what was all that Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules from the Centre of the Ultraworld, all about? Thank you for being curious...and more will emerge very shortly.

In short, its a ‘developing’ story about how those of us in this arts/health movement feel that creativity/culture/arts offer so much more than selfish individualism, and that those of us working in any kind of advocacy role, must genuinely represent and support the communities of interest we claim to represent. 

Moreover, if the failed ‘market’ model is imposed on the arts, we will be awash with the corporate, insipid and irrelevant. Deluded self-belief and arrogant brand placement, run the risk of reducing this emerging sector to some panacea, or worse still, a placebo for all societal ills.  Much, much more to follow...

Thank you as ever...C.P.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Reflections from the 5th Latin American and 4th Inter American Conference on Health Promotion and Health Education

Rob Simmons, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, CPH
Program Director, MPH Program
Jefferson School of Population Health

Last month, I had the opportunity to participate in the 5th Latin American Conference on Health Promotion and Health Education in Mexico City.  The conference was co-sponsored by the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), the Pan American Health Organization (the Western Hemisphere Region of the World Health Organization), and the Ministry of Health of Mexico. 

The conference brought together over 1,500 public health promotion professionals and students from the Americas for five days in professional presentations, workshops, planning sessions and of course, networking.  The focus of discussion was the evolving health challenges that face the Spanish, English, Portuguese, and French-speaking countries in the Americas from Canada to Chile and from the Pacific Coast to the Caribbean nations.

A range of preventive health topics were addressed, including:  social determinants of health, the growth of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and associated lifestyle risk factors, community health planning networks and coalitions, the use of health promoters and community health workers for health education and preventive health services, and the use of mobile technology for health promotion and education.

I was invited to participate in the pre-conference General Assembly of the Consortium of Universities and Centers for Health Promotion and presented on the health education and promotion organizational and professional accreditation process in the U.S. The Assembly formed work teams to develop policy and programmatic papers over the next two years. I am looking forward to collaborating with a team of faculty colleagues from Central and South America to develop plans for regional interdisciplinary networks in health promotion and prevention.

 I also conducted a pre-conference workshop on public health policy and advocacy education, modeled after our MPH course at the Jefferson School of Population Health. The workshop also draws on the national public health education advocacy summit, where we take MPH students to Washington, D.C. to learn about federal public health initiatives and advocacy strategies. 
It was an incredible learning experience to conduct the two-hour workshop -- in Spanish -- with community and university participants from throughout the hemisphere. I needed to be cognizant and open to different ideas of key policy goals, such as equity and liberty in public policy and advocacy with representatives from socialist countries such as Cuba, Bolivia, and Ecuador. 

Several workshop participants are based in rural areas, with limited or no health data to inform their plans for public health programs and policies. This called for some creative strategies, mostly coming from the workshop participants, such as recruiting youth volunteers to develop and conduct interviews with community members on health needs and assets, and using a “photovoice” technique to visually depict priority health areas for policy and advocacy.

Later in the conference, I was able to represent the North American Region on a panel presenting public/global health and health promotion competencies for undergraduate and graduate health education programs. 

My final presentation was on our Health Care Improvement Foundation/Jefferson, Pennsylvania Department of Health grant-funded initiative on health literacy with hospitals and organizations that serve seniors.  There was much interest in this relatively new topic area for Central and South America and I expect there will be an increased amount of programmatic and research work on health literacy in the decade ahead.

The conference was “infectious” with a culture of camaraderie and collaboration across the region.  Mexico, through its Ministry of Health, Director General’s Office of Health Promotion, showed its “tri-colors” as excellent hosts for the conference.  I look forward to hopefully participate in the next health promotion conference of the Americas, scheduled for Ecuador in 2015.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Hair Care || Battling the Humidity

Summer is officially here and so is the humidity in certain regions of the world.  What does this mean for those who are stretching, transitioning, or natural?  Well, it could mean reversion, shrinkage, and frizz.  However, you can mitigate each of these unwanted effects by following the tips below:

1. Protective Style.  In my relaxed, transitioning, and now natural days, protective styling has been the number one weapon against summer humidity.  My go-to protective styles were and still are twists or braids because reversion, shrinkage, and frizz are minimized.

2. Work with your texture. Some ladies enjoy wearing their hair out during the summer, especially if they've spent the rest of the year in protective styles.  However, wearing the hair out can be an invitation to the unwanted effects of humidity.  One way to minimize those effects is to "work with your texture" via braidouts, twistouts, straw sets, or rod sets.  These styles are less likely to be ruined by the humidity than straighter styles (e.g., a fresh press) that are further from your actual texture.
-Tutorials on the strawset and cornrow-out
-Tips for maintaining twistouts

3. Embrace your texture.  Another way to combat humidity while wearing your hair loose is to simply "embrace your texture".  What does this mean?  It means wearing your hair in its natural state (e.g., a wash-n-go).  However, those with medium to long hair, especially those with kinks or tighter coils, should proceed with caution.  Wash-n-gos can create an environment conducive to tangles.  If you do have medium to long, Type 4 hair and would like to experiment with, read my earlier post on the Curly Girl Method on Type 4s.

4. Run from humectant-containing moisturizers.  Humectants (e.g., glycerin, propylene glycol, sorbitol) draw moisture from the air.  When applied to the hair which is then exposed to humidity, humectants will facilitate the processes of reversion, shrinkage, and frizz.  However, if your hair absolutely needs these ingredients in a moisturizer, then do not change your routine.  It is better to put healthy hair care before an anti-humidity technique any day.
-List of more humectants

5. Use a shine/smoothing serum.  If your hair fairs fine with silicones, then using a serum containing dimethicone is another method for battling the summer humidity.  Apply the serum to a fresh set of twists or braids or onto your out style (e.g., twistout or braidout).  Dimethicone will not only aid in taming any frizzies, but it will create a slight barrier against humidity.  NOTE: Because this silicone does not dissolve in water, it can lead to buildup with continued use.  Be sure to wash your hair with a shampoo containing any of the following surfactants in order to prevent this buildup: SLS, SLES, cocamidopropyl betaine, cocobetaine, ALS, or ALES (Source).

6. Wear a scarf.  Hair scarves are very much the trend this summer, and they can be useful for disguising hair that has suffered the effects of humidity.  Opt for silk or polyester (i.e., satin) scarves, which are both gentler on the hair than cotton.

For previous posts on summer hair & skin care:
Type 4 Series: Curly Girl Method & Summer Hair

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How to Barbecue Healthier

{Image Source}
Here is an excerpt from an article geared towards healthier barbecuing:

"The key is to cut down on the greasy ribs and switch to lean cuts, which have a higher protein-to-fat ratio. Try flank steak. With only 176 calories per 4-ounce serving, flank is one of the leanest cuts at the meat counter, and it offers an impressive 24 grams of protein. "

To read the FULL article: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3.

For a previous post on summer eating: Summer Time Meals

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Poetry should be subversive...

Arts for Health are out of the office and on the road with Musique et Sante. So, in place of the usual weekly blog, here are two articles of interest. The first is by poet, Simon Armitage who writes eloquently in response to the Education Secretary’s policy plans for English. This was first published in the Guardian on Tuesday 12th June 2012. The second is an interview with Grayson Perry, and is self-explanatory. Back to normal service soon...C.P.

If Michael Gove's plan for English means reciting Tennyson in posh accents, it's nothing to celebrate

If businessman and philanthropist Scott Griffin committed a misdemeanour as a young boy, he was sent to his room and not allowed out until he had read and remembered some piece of classical poetry. Scott now presides over what is sometimes described as the world's richest poetry award, the Griffin prize, with prize money totalling 200,000 tax-free Canadian dollars.
The psychology by which an intended punishment became a lifelong passion might only be explained by a close analysis of that particular father and son relationship; but in any event, poetry (or at least a few poets each year) is certainly better off because of it. Yet I've also seen the reverse happen. In fact it's more common that a well-meaning elder, often a teacher, has instilled in a child a lifelong abhorrence of verse by drooling over an unfathomable passage from Chaucer – or, worse still, insisting that a pupil "explain" a poem, as if it were a riddle to which an answer should be provided.
Where I found refuge in poetry, and thought of it as an alternative to the mainstream, many of my former classmates felt either humbled or humiliated by it, and came to view it as something for clever dicks and posers. It's for those reasons that I'm nervous about the noises currently being made by the Department for Education about returning to "traditional values" in schools – values which would see children as young as five being expected to learn and recite poetry "by heart". My concerns are mainly about labelling poetry as something solid, traditional and worthy, something belonging to the establishment, a yardstick against which most people won't measure up. I'm also worried that by poetry, what the government might really mean is "poetry", or POETRY – that is, grist for the spoken English competition, in which students at my school were expected to stand on a stage and chew their way through The Lady of Shalott in a feigned and foreign RP accent.

If those are the values being pursued, and if in Michael Gove's master plan English literature is actually a byword for Englishness, or learning "by heart" might actually mean learning by rote, then I'd prefer poetry to have no part in it. If, on the other hand, children are allowed to find the poems that fit their voices or appeal to their imaginations and their cultural inclinations, then I'm on board. It's a well-established fact that poems learned at an early stage in the form of nursery rhymes stay with us for life, and that people suffering with Alzheimer's and other forms of memory loss, who struggle in later life to remember their address or the names of their children, can often recite nursery rhymes without any difficulty. The brain is always keen to seize on pattern and structure, and the growing brain seems to instill poetry at its core.
The mind too, as it expands, needs forms of language that go beyond the rational and the prosaic, and which mirror our fragmented, highly metaphorical and moment-to-moment perception of life itself. My granddad could recite huge chunks of Shakespeare, to the point where he seemed to have a quote for every given situation. He'd worked in the mill, as a hospital porter and as a fireman, and was virtually self-taught in terms of literature. Sure, the quoting was something of a party piece, but I also felt that he was processing or validating his own life experiences, not to mention sharing those experiences with the planet's greatest ever wordsmith.

At school I had to learn passages from Goldsmith's The Deserted Village, Wordsworth's Michael and several Ted Hughes poems, to regurgitate in exams. I should have resented it, (was it an English exam or a memory test?) but in fact I never properly understood those lines until I had committed them to memory, as if remembering them were a further part of the analytical process. In fact they've stayed with me to such an extent that I'm still finding new meaning in them even today.

In a lot of the work I've done with prisoners or with people who've missed out on a decent education, I've found a whole section of society who have plenty to say but no way of saying it. They've never been exposed to language at its most ingenious, have no models to draw on and no mechanism for expressing their interior lives to the outside world, and when people can't articulate how they feel, problems follow.
Isn't it also the case, on a very basic level, that if we are going to remember language (and we are going to remember language) then we might as well remember the good stuff? I say this as someone who can still quote the whole of the Hoseason's boating brochure advertisement. It was implanted in my head sometime in the early 70s via ITV, has stayed there until this day, and has never once been of any value to me whatsoever. If only I'd been watching the BBC, where I assume they were broadcasting Chaucer instead.


Protective Style Lookbook || Two Loc-Inspired Styles for Twists & Braids

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

**This segment contains two styles.**

Model: Francesca

Style description: Style #1 - formal faux hawk updo.  Style #2 - french braid wrap.

Difficulty level: Style #1 - 5/5. Style #2 - 4/5.

Formal Faux Hawk Updo:

French Braid Wrap:

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The UGLY Truth Behind Health and Fitness

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

When consulting and talking with people about health and fitness, I am able to hear excuses and other reasons why people give up or do not finish their health and fitness goals.

I guess people see and hear all kinds of motivation…but for some people that is not enough! They thought if they ran and ate right for a few weeks then…*TAH DAH* that body that those Victoria secret models rock will magically appear under their clothes. Well I have news for them…and for anyone else who needs a little tough love to help you with your health and fitness goals…

Reaching your goals is going to be HARD! No your results will not show up overnight. It is going to take days…weeks…and even MONTHS for you to finally start to see the effects of your hard work!

For most people, it takes almost a year for them to reach their goal or surpass it. This is including a possible relapse in eating right…skipping workouts for a few weeks at a time (due to crazy work schedules or other crazy life situations)…or having to get re-motivated with the goals that are set. For some people it will not take that long…but just as an average I would shoot for a solid year until you can sit down and say “YES! I have for sure reached my health and fitness goals”.

Getting healthy and fit is a lifestyle change! It is not a hobby or something you can do on the weekends. You have to commit 110% to your goals. That is eating right 7 days a week and sticking to the workouts you schedule for yourself.

Yes it will take some work, dedication, and tons of sweat. But looking and feeling like you want is worth all the hours you put into eating right and working out. It is a great idea to have motivational things to keep you going, but you will also need something to keep you going on those tough days that you do feel like you want to give up.

So the ugly truth…it will be hard….the road will be long…and yes some days you will want to make up a million excuses as to why you can’t work out or why you should have that piece of cheesecake. But, if you keep making these excuses and putting off your workouts you will not get the health and fitness goals that you set for yourself! No magic powder or pill…no fancy “I saw it on TV” machine or device…no obscene “this celebrity diet” ….or any other get slim quick trick will work! You have to put in the work and you have to have confidence that you are working hard. The results will be there if you work at it!

So my tough love lesson to you….STOP making the excuses…STOP letting people influence you away from your goals….MAKE time for your workouts….MAKE time for YOURSELF! That is the most important. Your health and fitness goals are a health and fitness journey for YOU and not for anyone else!

I hope this post did not scare anyone away from wanting to get healthier and more fit…but I like to put it all out on the table and be honest and upfront! I do not want to mislead anyone to think that getting fit is going to be easy because it is not always easy! Even for someone like me! I do have my down days but I also have found ways to get back motivated and dedicated to my health and fitness goals.

If you would like more health and fitness tips please feel free to check out my health and fitness blog at For daily health and fitness topic follow me on Instagram @ ms4composure.

The lowest-mortality BMI: What is its relationship with fat-free mass?

Do overweight folks live longer? It is not uncommon to see graphs like the one below, from the Med Journal Watch blog (), suggesting that, at least as far as body mass index (BMI) is concerned (), overweight folks (25 < BMI < 30) seem to live longer. The graph shows BMI measured at a certain age, and risk of death within a certain time period (e.g., 20 years) following the measurement. The lowest-mortality BMI is about 26, which is in the overweight area of the BMI chart.

Note that relative age-adjusted mortality risk (i.e., relative to the mortality risk of people in the same age group), increases less steeply in response to weight variations as one becomes older. An older person increases the risk of dying to a lesser extent by weighing more or less than does a younger person. This seems to be particularly true for weight gain (as opposed to weight loss).

The table below is from a widely cited 2002 article by Allison and colleagues (), where they describe a study of 10,169 males aged 25-75. Almost all of the participants, ninety-eight percent, were followed up for many years after measurement; a total of 3,722 deaths were recorded.

Take a look at the two numbers circled in red. The one on the left is the lowest-mortality BMI not adjusting for fat mass or fat-free mass: a reasonably high 27.4. The one on the right is the lowest-mortality BMI adjusting for fat mass and fat-free mass: a much lower 21.6.

I know this may sound confusing, but due to possible statistical distortions this does not mean that you should try to bring your BMI to 21.6 if you want to reduce your risk of dying. What this means is that fat mass and fat-free mass matter. Moreover, all of the participants in this study were men. The authors concluded that: “…marked leanness (as opposed to thinness) has beneficial effects.”

Then we have an interesting 2003 article by Bigaard and colleagues () reporting on a study of 27,178 men and 29,875 women born in Denmark, 50 to 64 years of age. The table below summarizes deaths in this study, grouping them by BMI and waist circumference.

These are raw numbers; no complex statistics here. Circled in green is the area with samples that appear to be large enough to avoid “funny” results. Circled in red are the lowest-mortality percentages; I left out the 0.8 percentage because it is based on a very small sample.

As you can see, they refer to men and women with BMIs in the 25-29.9 range (overweight), but with waist circumferences in the lower-middle range: 90-96 cm for men and 74-82 cm for women; or approximately 35-38 inches for men and 29-32 inches for women.

Women with BMIs in the 18.5-24.9 range (normal) and the same or lower waists also died in small numbers. Underweight men and women had the highest mortality percentages.

A relatively small waist (not a wasp waist), together with a normal or high BMI, is an indication of more fat-free mass, which is retained together with some body fat. It is also an indication of less visceral body fat accumulation.

Friday, June 15, 2012

JSPH Teams Up with NBA Hall of Famer for Dribble to Stop Diabetes

Patrick Monaghan
JSPH Director of Communications

The last time I was in the same area code as NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, I was a pint-size pre-teen looking on from my seat at the old Spectrum while Lanier and his Detroit Pistons did battle with a 76ers team, who, at that time, featured a young guard out of Illinois State University named Doug Collins.

I’ve grown a bit in the 40 years since I last saw Bob Lanier on a basketball court, but still felt pretty pint-sized standing next to his 6’11” frame this past weekend when JSPH, along with Sanofi US and the American Diabetes Association, hosted a Dribble to Stop Diabetes Fit Clinic on the campus of Thomas Jefferson University.

“Those were battles back in those days,” said Lanier, after listening to me recall one of my earliest memories of attending an NBA game. “They let us play; not like today, where they blow the whistle for every little thing.”

Lanier, a six-time All-Star and 1992 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2004. The disease has been rampant throughout his family. As a Dribble to Stop Diabetes campaign ambassador, he hopes to emphasize the importance of seeing a doctor regularly and taking control of your health.

Lanier’s message was loud and clear to the 60-or-so youngsters who attended Saturday’s Dribble to Stop Diabetes event. “You have to push yourself to exercise and eat right because those are important things that you have to do with diabetes,” he said. “I’m more active now than ever.”

Getting kids and their families to live a more active lifestyle is part of what Dribble to Stop Diabetes is all about. Saturday’s clinic lasted an hour and a half or so. The kids had a blast and probably didn’t even realize that they were getting a pretty good workout while also improving their basketball skills. “Coach Donny” did an amazing job running the clinic, keeping the kids engaged while also slipping in messages about the benefits of eating right and being active.

Bob Lanier got into the act as well, participating in some of the drills, posing for photographs with seemingly anyone and everyone, and generally having a good time. It was great to see him on a basketball court again.

Afterward, he even showed a little of the competitive spirit that served him so well against the likes of Willis Reed, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dave Cowens, and Wes Unseld. “That one kid made three or four shots on me. That made me a little mad.”

Diabetes, you’ve been warned.

For more photos from the Dribble to Stop Diabetes event, visit the JSPH Facebook page at

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sew-Ins & Lace Fronts 101 || Bob Sew-in Tutorial

Sew-ins, when done and worn properly, can be used as a method for protective styling.  They can be worn for 2-3 months at a time, allowing the hair underneath to grow and retain length.  Some veterans wear them for longer, but I encourage newbies to begin with 2-3 month intervals.  Your hair underneath must still be cleansed, conditioned, and moisturized and must not be ignored during this period.

To begin your sew-in, cornrow your own hair as flat and close to your scalp as possible.  However, refrain from making the cornrows too tight because this can lead to hair loss.  After creating your cornrows, commence to sew your hair extensions row by row into your cornrows.  Below is a well-executed video tutorial, by Lizlizlive, on self-installing a beautiful bob sew-in:

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Protective Style Lookbook || Two Versions of Overbraided Twists

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

This segment contains two styles.  Style #1: overbraided twists.  Style #2: overbraided twists with pompadour.

Model: Loo (Me)

Style description: Style #1 - overbraided twists. Style #2 - overbraided twists with pompadour.

Difficulty level: Style #1 - 2/5. Style #2 - 3/5.

HOW TO For OVERBRAIDED TWISTS only:  Start off with twists or braids.  Braid them into one big french braid from the crown down to the back of your head.  (Use the over-braiding method instead of the under-braiding method.  Here is a video tutorial: overbraid.)  After braiding, tuck the tail under your french braid and near the nape.  Use a few bobby pins to secure.  Voila!  NOTE: To creat the hump in the front like in the photo, start off braiding loosely at the crown.  Also, note that this style can also be done on loose hair.

HOW TO For OVERBRAIDED TWISTS with POMPADOUR:  Start off with twists or braids.  Undo a few twists/braids in the front middle section of the hair.  This will create a twistout/braidout bang.  Using bobby pins, pin the bang down towards the crown of the head.  Now take your remaining twists/braids and braid them into one big french braid from the crown down to the back of your head.  (Use the over-braiding method instead of the under-braiding method.  Here is a video tutorial: overbraid.)  After braiding, tuck the tail under your french braid and near the nape.  Use a few bobby pins to secure.  Voila!  NOTE: This style can also be done on loose hair.

Back in 2010.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Are You Feeling Stressed?

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

Are you feeling stressed? Bummed out all the time because of all the crazy things going on in your life? Are you feeling like some days are getting crazier and harder to handle? Well I may have a suggestion that may help you start to handle some of the stress that has been accumulating in your life.

It is that time of year!

I know that I personally know a lot of people who are stressed out with work…with school…with life in general!

There are not only physical benefits to working out! Working out has been proven to have positive emotional effects as well. Yes you may be stressed because you have a lot on your plate or your day is jammed packed with activities already. But the truth is that you need to de-clutter your life and start putting your time management skills to work! Implementing a workout is only 4% of your day!!! That means the other 96% you can spend sleeping…cooking…working…or being busy with all the other things you have going on. If you actively use that 4% of your time in a positive way I can assure you that your overall mood can be drastically improved and those busy hectic days will start to seem less and less stressful!

Looking at the Mayo Clinic ...

Exercise can help diminish your anxiety or depression! This is done by:

  • Releasing feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters and endorphins)
  • Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
  • Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects

According to the Association of Applied Sports Psychology (AASP) ...

Here are some PROVEN facts about the positive psychological benefits of exercise:

  • Improved mood
  • Reduced stress as well as an improved ability to cope with stress
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Pride in physical accomplishments
  • Increased satisfaction with oneself
  • Improved body image
  • Increased feelings of energy
  • Improved in confidence in your physical abilities
  • Decreased symptoms associated with depression

It is so important to try to find the correct balance in our lives to help make the days go more smoothly. If you are a happy healthy person, it is suggested that you will be able to get the most out of your days! If you are happy you will see most things in a positive light and if you are healthy you will be able to be active and get more out of your days.

It is suggested to work out about 3 times a week (and if you can find the time you are more than welcome to work out more than 3 times a day!) If you are able to keep up a routine for a long period of time, this will make it easier for you to keep your health and fitness routines and they will become a part of your daily schedule on a long term basis. And you do not have to run 10 miles a day nor do some intense aerobics class for it to be called “exercise”. You can do a wide range of things that will get your heart beat up and gets your blood flowing! You can swim, ride a bike, jog, play sports, brisk walks, or anything that gets you up and moving for about 30 minutes!

So why not try to improve your mood and your health! Try to incorporate a health and fitness routine into your day and see if it is beneficial to you in the end.

This is Stephanie from Infinite Life Fitness. Please feel free to stop by my site for more health and fitness tips!